Geraniums are exceptional flowers that enhance the beauty of our homes and gardens. Taking care of them ensures they remain healthy and yield lovely blooms.
To prevent them from dying, you need to understand what their needs are. Below are some mistakes you should avoid to ensure your geraniums will thrive.
Reasons Why Your Geraniums Are Dying
Geraniums love well-drained soil and when potting, make sure they have adequate drainage. Soggy soils breed fungus and affect the quality of the blooms.
According to USDA hardiness, these perennial plants do well in zones 10 and 11. However, in lower zones, they also thrive indoors when planted during the cold months. The timing prevents them from stem rot, rust and leaf blight. Here is what you need to check when you notice your geraniums dying.
Geranium Humidity Levels
It is challenging to differentiate between rust and rot in geranium. Rust is most often caused by high humidity and is extremely destructive for these plants. It’s even worse if the flowers are not adequately spaced.
The plants require moderate humidity and enough spacing to let air circulate freely.
Rust on geranium plants appears on the leaves’ bottom. The rust first appears as circular yellowish spots. If the rust is left to grow, the leaves’ color turns brown making them fall from the stem.
The rust spreads fast and only immediate action can save them before affecting the entire flower.
Before buying geranium seedlings, you need to inspect the leaf under and upper side. These are areas where rust appears first. When you notice rust after planting, remove all the affected leaves. Once done with pruning the leaves, fumigate your flowers and decrease the humidity levels in the garden soil.
Geraniums Dying Because Of Overwatering
Too much watering does more harm than good to your geranium plants. Excessive watering is known to cause stem and root rot to many plants and geraniums are no exception.
Geraniums retain a lot of water in stems and leaves and you might not know the damage over-watering has caused your plants until it is too late.
The rot starts from the roots and eats the plant up to the stem. By the time you realize, the plant might already start dying. Once the stem changes color to black, there is nothing you can do.
Even if there was excessive watering, the leaves might still stay green. When the roots rot, the water supply to the plant is cut and your geranium dies.
However, if you notice signs of rot early, you can save your lovely plants. Simply remove the plants from the soil, cut off the rotten roots, and clean the soil around the roots.
Wait for the roots to dry before dusting them with a good fungicide. Then, transfer them to a new pot with fresh soil.
Geraniums Dying Due To Excess Fertilizer
Too much fertilizer does not add value to geraniums, it kills them instead. These plants are moderate feeders and require little or no fertilizer as long as you use the right soil type, moderate moisture, and water them only when the top soil is dry.
Excess fertilizer harms the beneficial microorganisms in the soil. It also alters the soil pH, which leads to abnormal root system development. When the root system is not properly developed, the plant is denied enough nutrients and this causes them to die.
What’s more, too much fertilizer changes the color of your geranium leaves from lush green to yellow or brown.
Geranium Leaf Blight
Although confused with geranium rot, leaf blight is a common disease in geranium plants. When leaf blight strikes, the leaves will turn yellow and start wilting. The plant will also have an increased number of dead leaves; a clear indication that the geranium is dying.
Leaf blight is a disease that eats into the leaf veins and disrupts the photosynthesis processes. When the leaves begin to wither, remove the blight affected ones and dispose of them. This helps in preventing further damage to your geraniums.
The blight can survive in the soil for more than a year. Always ensure you treat the soil before introducing new geraniums.
If you are not sure if the disease is still in the soil, plant different flowers that are blight resistant for at least a year.
Geraniums add glamour to your home and garden. Their scent freshens the air while the petals brighten up your surrounding giving you a refreshing feel. However, if neglected, they can easily die.
It can be challenging to figure out why your geraniums are dying. However, inspecting the plant leaves and stems can help with finding the proper solution. Any change in the leaf or stem color should be a wake-up call and it is time to act quickly.
Besides, it is important to expose them to enough light and humidity. To maintain healthy geraniums, regular inspection is a proven way to ensure they do not die before maturity.